The project, part-funded by a loan from the Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development (AFESD), forms part of an MD 850 million ($96 million) plan to double the airport’s capacity to 7.5 million passengers a year. Local companies EMTand GTRrecently completed a $14 million second runway, and a new control tower is also planned by 2006.

A consortium led by France’s Aeroports de Parisconducted the terminal’s design studies and is also nearing completion on studies for equipment installation, furnishing, baggage management and control systems at the new terminal, the tenders for which will be launched later in the year.

The expansion is the principal element of an MD 1,400 million ($155 million) programme to increase total airport capacity to 10 million passengers a year. Modernisation and expansion work is also under way or planned at Marrakech, Tangier, Dakhla, Oujda, Al-Hoceima and Laayoune airports (MEED 19:3:04).